Route Change.: Nothing is set in concrete. - Four Weeks in Oregon and Idaho - Summer 2006 - CycleBlaze

April 10, 2006

Route Change.: Nothing is set in concrete.

Somewhere in the index I feel a need to let people know that we didn't end up with the trip we had planned. Instead of bicycling through seven states, we rode through two. We spent three weeks wandering around Oregon and one week in Idaho. Both were lovely states to visit.

We read an article on bicycling in the Oregonian while we were in Portland. The gist of the article was that bicycle tourists were desirable and that "the bicycle can do for Oregon what the lobster has done for Maine". Certainly we loved all of the bicycle lanes, seeing other cyclists on the road, and people's friendly attitudes.

I made the mistake of setting too ambitious of a schedule for us. I didn't want to leave anything out and knew from the start we'd have to pedal hard and keep to the plan. The first thing that happened was that we hit bad weather on the coast. We did several short days in a row to get in out of the rain and fell behind our itinerary. We decided the obvious solution to being behind schedule was to not head north, cutting out Washington and Montana. This gave us a week back. Or rather, put us approximately back on track.

Then I convinced Jacinto to head north into the Sawtooth Mountains rather than taking the southern flat/hot route along the Snake River in Idaho. The Sawtooth's were a great choice. But, again, we weren't riding many miles a day with all of the climbing and were facing some long days across western Wyoming to get home on time. The Teton's were going to have to wait for another trip.

Once we entered Idaho we started having trouble finding a place to tent camp that had showers. There were many state parks. They did not have showers. I was good with taking a bath out of the soup pot, but Jacinto would have a real shower or no shower. The RV parks in Idaho did not take tents. None of them (well, very few). We were told it was a matter of finances because an RV pays more than a tent for the same space. We were also told more than once that they did not take tents because tenters abused the privledges. Two people would pay and ten more would shower. Their dogs would run loose. They partied and broke things. The result was no tenting for any of us. This added stress to the day finding a place that would take us. We ended up moteling through most of Idaho.

Once we rode out of the Sawtooths and along the Lost River Range, we were out of the pretty stuff. There would be a scenic day or two near Montpelier, Idaho and then we'd be out into western Wyoming with it's hard weather, wind, and lack of services. There was nothing terrain wise to look forward to.

Mostly though, I just got homesick. We'd done the pretty stuff and I was ready to go home. I'm guilty of being a scenery snob. I love riding through the mountains and alongside rivers. Two weeks of wind and sagebrush didn't hold near as much appeal for me as my own bed and full size down pillow. : )

So, we rented a UHaul and came home early. It was all my idea. Jacinto, the one we all thought would quit, didn't want to skip the last two weeks. He wanted to finish what we had started.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0